The Homecoming – Short Story
By: Gwyndolyn Beckley-Wilhelm
Nervously, she fumbled with the matches. She did not like the dark one bit, especially when there was a strong storm raging outside. The flashing of the lightning did not help much in her predicament, nor did the wind. It seemed to be playing games with her, as it blew out her attempts to light the candle. The roaring began to sound like laughter, as she struck each match, only to have the flame snuffed by the intruding breeze.
Finally, she was able to ignite the wick of her candle. Although it did not provide much light, it was enough to stave off the darkness a few feet around her. She began to relax, sitting back down at her desk. She still had paperwork to finish, despite the sounds of the angry sea tossing amongst the storm. After all, running tours at the old lighthouse still had financial statements of which needed to be accounted. After working for a few minutes, she looked up to watch the shadows produced by the flickering of the flame. The shapes that intertwined upon her wall changed constantly, almost as if to tell a story. She became mesmerized by their hypnotic dance.
Suddenly, the door flew open with the wind. Her candle went out, leaving her once again in the dark. She managed to find her way to the door to close it. As she turned back towards her desk, she had a rather odd feeling. She was not alone.
She quickly reached into her pocket for the box of matches as she hurriedly walked towards the candle. After striking the matches a few times, she was able to illuminate the room once again. She looked around, only to discover that there was no one in the small space but her.
Shrugging it off as a trick of the mind combined with the weather, she decided that her weary mind needed rest. She walked over to her cot, blew out her candle, and fell into a fitful sleep. That night, she dreamed of a sailor who had died at sea and had finally returned home.